“To be shown love is to feel ourselves the object of concern: our presence is noted, our name is registered, our views are listened to, our failings are treated with indulgence and our needs are ministered to. And under such care, we flourish.” ~ Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety
When I say minister, I don’t speak here of the kind found in religious pulpits or behind political podiums. I speak of the verb – to minister or attend to the needs of someone or something. Anyone can be one–anyone can do it. And from the look of things, we need a lot more ministering these days.
If you are at all sensitive to the hurting of people around you, you are likely an ideal candidate for this activity. We empathic, sensitive types can often feel the feelings of others, and sometimes need to be reminded where they end and we begin. But once you get the hang of where your boundaries are you may find yourself on hand to lend a compassionate ear, give a warm hug, or serve in some way those who cannot help themselves. By extending your love and time in service to life, you are taking yourself out of your own self-preoccupation to be of help to sentient beings. What touches one, touches all.
“God takes away the minds of poets, and uses them as his ministers, as he also uses diviners and holy prophets, in order that we who hear them may know them to be speaking not of themselves who utter these priceless words in a state of unconsciousness, but that God himself is the speaker, and that through them he is conversing with us. ” ~ Socrates
With the rush away from traditional religious institutions nowadays, for all kinds of reasons, that which once seemed to stand as a visible refuge for the weary, lost, and weak counts decreasing numbers, as words of its representatives no longer match deeds. While people desperately seek for some kind of stability, (some “sidewalls” as my friend, Cherry, would say), to keep a footing in an ever more tumultuous world, there are ministers of love all about who may be placed in their paths to touch soul-to-soul and awaken them to the new day which is dawning. These ones are not called to the pulpit, nor voted into public office. These ones are moving on a different initiative and in a new way. As this world is evolving, these ones are sounding a clarion call. It is time to awaken.
I see myself as just such a one. I minister through my art–my writing, my singing, my performance. It is through these expressions that I best touch the heart, mind, or soul of another and minister in love to that soul. As I freely open to the more in me–love flows fluidly through me and I can find an inspiring word or sing a lovely melody that may soften a blow of the mind/body/spirit of another. Peace flows through me. Beauty flows through me. Wisdom flows through me. I do my utmost to make myself a ready vehicle for it. I want to see a world with more love, more kindness, more peace. I am being the change that I want to see. It is then that I am in service to life, light, love. The gifts I have been given are not to be taken for granted. They are to be used in service to love. So, I minister. The beauty of that is as I sincerely minister to another, I am at once ministering to my own soul.
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